Slap And Pop For Beginners

author: Themoleismad date: 11/08/2010 category: bass lessons
rating: 6.8 / votes: 17 
An intro to Slap Slap bass is a technique mostly used in bass for funk or forms of jazz. It involves striking one of the lower strings with your thumb. Popping is a technique often used with slap, only on the higher string. The technique Place your hand in the way you would when normally fingerpicking. Then place your thumb at a 90 degree angle from your fingers. You hand should make a sort of backwards L shape. Now rotate your hand to a 90 degree angle, so that your pinkie is the closest finger to the bass, then bring it back down, striking the string with your thumb with the point to the side of the knuckle, where the bone is closest to the skin to produce the best sound. Make sure the thumb bounces off the string, or it will produce a very dull, muted sound, but hey, some alternative musicians may want to use this sound. It helps to play through an amp when doing this, as it helps you hear the sound better. You know when you can do this, as it sounds funky and very distinctive. Now for popping, this is a much easier technique, as all you have to do is curl a finger around the side of the string so it is very slightly underneath it, and pull the string up, you can tell when this is done correct as the sound of the string bouncing of the fretboard makes a very distinctive sound. Practice Techniques The first practice technique I learnt was from a video by Flea, I recommend looking at his video lessons on youtube if you don't find my lesson helpful. The technique he taight me was playing the octave. And octave is a group of 8 full steps, or 13 notes. To play an octave in slap and pop, do this.
G-----|
D----2| Pop the D string
A-----|
E--0--| Slap the E string
Remember, You can play an ocatave simply by moving two strings and two frets up. I tend to play stuff with slap around a powerchord. By this I mean things like:
G----------------------| Again, Pop the G and D strings...
D------4--4p2---------4|
A-------------4p2------|
E--0h2------------0h2--| And Slap the E and A strings
That's an example of a line you can play on a powerchord, you should of noticed that I hammered on from the open string to the bottom note of the octave, and also used some notes that weren't on the powerchord, I'd suggest working with some notes to see what goes well together. Experiment with the notes in this tab for a while. Another example of a good line would be:
G------------2h4h2---4p2---------------------| If it helps, You can pop the
D-----4------------------4p2-----------------| A string in the descent on 
A----------------------------4p2-----4p2-----| this line rather than slapping
E-0h2----0h2---------------------5p2-----5p2-|
Try improvising on all the notes in the above tabs, and experiment with some of your own. That's about all I have to give for this lesson, here's some final tips for you: -Remember to bunce of the strings to avoid that dull sound when slapping. -Start slow, and speed up gradually as you get better. -Play through an amp, it improves the sound. -Don't give up, if this lesson is unhelpful, go to those videos from Flea I mentioned earlier, I spent weeks sifting through all the lessons before I got the method right, so keep trying. The Flea videos are the best I have come across so far, they help with a lot of things you can do with your bass. I hope this lesson satisfied your needs, spap is one of the things that makes bass as interesting as it is, don't give up and keep playing. Please comment on this lesson, and be constuctive if you don't like it, trolling isn't cool. Thanks, The Mole.
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